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49

When they can't tell me how. Sounds simple, but a wealth of detail is hidden in that simple question. When faced with an implausible action declaration, ask "How?". By asking, you're forcing your players to: Consider whether their action makes sense. Limit themselves to plausibility - if they can't even imagine a way that could work, then they won't be ...


43

Sigh, I think others are making this more complicated than it is and aren't answering the right question. Perhaps it will make more sense if you restate that brief blurb as: The players determine what their characters say, think, and do. The GM describes everything else in the world. You "say" what your character does, the GM "says" (aka determines) ...


34

No, there is no equivalent to a "skill check" in Dungeon World. Dungeon World operates on a different set of principles that don't require or really permit task-based resolution rolls. If you're playing DW, you have to give up the idea that everything requires a roll. The most important principle for this question is that dice are only rolled when a move ...


24

Don't forget that by drawing unwanted attention, it doesn't have to be attention from the monster they think they're fighting! He's invisible, right? Well, How about he draws unwanted attention in the form of ghosts or spirits? Or monsters that exist in the narrow space between planes where things that are invisible go? Your player chose to attract unwanted ...


23

First off, all of edgerunner's answers are great. But I wanted to add some Dungeon World specifics: Check p.19 and you'll see that 6- isn't "failure" - it's "trouble". The GM will say what happens and the player will mark XP. You are attaching non-DW simulationist ideas to DW mechanics by your supposition that 6- means "failure." These principles can apply ...


22

As you play, the players say what their characters say, think, and do when it's relevant or interesting to the story. A good exercise would be to imagine you are reading a book. On a book you usually knows when a character feels fear or anger, but their evil betrayal is kept until the finale. Normally, characters' thoughts are shared like in these examples: ...


21

Here are the traditional reason I would say no to my players and why I shouldn't in Dungeon World: Because doing so would ruin my plans In my head, this is physically impossible or there's not enough time etc. Because the action would cause sudden PvP combat Here's why I would be wrong to say no for those reasons in Dungeon World 1. Because doing so ...


21

First, stop railroading them when they don't do anything. You're here to make the world do stuff, not make the players or the PCs do stuff. Making their decisions for them just teaches them that it's not really important to make those decisions themselves, and that's the last lesson you want people new to roleplaying to take away from the experience. ...


17

This looks like a good spot to let them succeed with complications. Some ideas that come to mind are: He climbs the chain but drops his weapon in the progress The chain he climbed happened to be on the wrong side of the tower, so he must brave more of the tower's denizens to reach his goal. The chain also happens to ground the tower's lightning rod, and ...


17

Yes, but it's more work than you'd think You could keep levelling, but the game starts breaking down. You start running out of moves that you can take and you rarely ever fail rolls because your stats are all in the positive. The engine runs out of steam and the game starts to be boring. So you can, but you would have to start houseruling lots of bits of ...


15

To some extent, this is the pitfall of collaborative storytelling mechanics: when you have a lot of cooks, the pie can come out weird. There are a number of ways you can get around this, depending on the style/attitude of your group: Let It Ride. While this sounds exactly what you do not want to do here, I present this merely as one option among many. ...


15

Dungeon World is an odd beast. If looked at through the lens of existing D&D experience, it doesn't look like anything different, and lots of its differences seem stupid. To really appreciate what it does differently you have to spend some time immersing your brain in it. I'm a veteran, but I still keep learning new things about the game—it's like ...


14

Using Spout Lore to reveal a detailed, pre-created world is contrary to the rules. There is a caveat I should make here. I'm going to talk about rules the GM has to follow. You're welcome to not consider them binding rules, but DW as designed does. If you don't follow the GM rules, you're "voiding the warranty" on the game and it will not operate as ...


13

Though @Tynam's answer is excellent, I did want to give an alternative answer. When they ask me, instead of showing me. When we first started playing Dungeon World, I had reservations about my ability not to plan, and one of my players brought up something that I was already doing in the context of Fate that made me feel better about it. Letting the ...


13

Nothing in Dungeon World is a straight conversion of D&D – everything is re-imagined. Even the base classes provided can't be used to convert a D&D character straight across (for example, in stock DW there's no way you can make a Dwarven Druid, while you can easily do so in D&D 3.x without creating a house rules). A straight conversion of new ...


13

One thing you can do to make a big boss dangerous is just make normal Hack & Slash useless. Imagine they are fighting a storm giant or something the like, and they normal Hack & Slash, you can just say "ok, you are just chipping his toenails, that is not going to work." Force them to be creative: climb the giant (defy danger), try to out maneuver ...


12

Make the game more narrative! Even though you have turns, don't forget that in a round of combat all actions are contemporaneous. (In some rule-sets the terms "turn" and "round" have their meaning swapped... by the way the idea is the same...) In a round robin approach you can just collect all players' actions in a turn of combat and just explain what ...


12

It's up to the GM to direct turns in combat by switching between characters, often by asking "What do you do?" The easiest question to use is "What do you do?" Whenever you make a move, end with "What do you do?" You don't even have to ask the person you made the move against. Take that chance to shift the focus elsewhere: "Rath's spell is torn apart ...


12

In Dungeon World, it's very important to get the carts and the horses in the right order, else it annoys the pig and the metaphors get horribly mixed. Moves come second, never first. If you find yourself looking at a move and asking yourself, "How do I make that work?" then you've got the cart in front of the horse and you need to start over. Always ...


12

Yes, you can get your animal companion killed. Nothing on your character sheet is permanent or "safe" (DW PDF version, p. 30): Advancement, like everything else in Dungeon World, is both prescriptive and descriptive. Prescriptive means that when a player changes their character sheet the character changes in the fiction. Descriptive means that when the ...


12

You could make things mechanically more difficult by making custom moves, but I would not start there. Instead, narrate in the fiction greater consequences, via the GM's show an approaching/looming threat moves and follow up with hard moves, tougher monsters, and more damaging challenges. For a boss with giant sword, lead up to the fact that he's dangerous: ...


12

Dungeon World isn't a combat simulator. I'd recommend thinking about the combat as though it were a movie script and framing each shot. That should help you think about the correct level of granularity. Are these beetles supposed to be a threat by themselves, or are the three collectively a threat? There are rules for combating multiple enemies. [I don't ...


11

The spout lore move acts like a general knowledge skill. It even says that the GM can ask, "How do you know this?", which is a great question that should definitely color the GM's response. For interrogation, you want parley. The leverage is probably their lives or their freedom.


11

It isn't up to you to make your players defy danger with any particular stat. It's up to the players to describe how they defy the danger in a way which plays to their own strengths and by doing so indicate the stat they use: "The riders charge straight at you, whooping over the thundering hooves. What do you do ?" "I counter-charge with my shield to ...


11

The narrative at hand is a perfect reason to make things difficult for the player. You should always ask questions like crazy, ie. ask for justification from the player about how he does what he does. He may want to hack and slash at the troll but he doesn't decide on what move his intended action corresponds to. Feel free to challenge his intent by ...


11

Apocalypse Engine is all about fictional positioning There are many ways that the players, the game mechanics, and the shared fiction of play interact with each other. Different systems and different groups emphasize some over others. Apocalypse World is built to emphasize "fictional positioning," which is when already-established elements of the shared ...


11

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at it's core, that distinguishes itself from D&D in the way it tells stories. The innovations are in the core philosophies and mechanics. Let me address each of your points in turn: Moves as Powers Moves are NOT just powers. Many are closer to D&D's feats. Others have no mechanical effect at all. Some simply tell ...


10

Introduction A miss means that the character's action is unsuccessful or carries major consequences. Unless the move tells you what to do, all moves work the same on a miss—the GM takes action, doing something dangerous to the characters. Chapter 12: The GM You also make a move when the players give you a golden opportunity. A golden ...


10

You would normally need two multiclass moves to take two moves, but Animal Companion and Command are starting moves that don't do anything without the other, so they depend on each other. In that case, they count as one for multiclassing (p. 31): The multiclass moves allow you to gain moves from another class. You get to choose any move of your level or ...


10

Dungeon World has GM moves and player moves. The GM should never speak the name of a GM move. The GM should usually relate any custom move that the players are rolling for, whether they be adventure moves, campaign moves, new class moves, etc. Chapter 13, How to GM It’s everyone’s responsibility to watch for when a move has been triggered, ...



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